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  • Writer's pictureMike Goodrich

Episode 41 – How to Manage your Inner Game, your Performance and your Vocal Technique Gracefully

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

In this episode I talk about how to manage the 3 components of the Singing Trifecta – The Inner Game, Performance and Vocal Technique.

If you’ve ever had a challenge “thinking” about all 3 at the same time – It’s okay…you can’t. (-:

There is another way and I talk about it in this show.

All 3 of these components really do support each other and the synergy of the creates the magic!

Listen and enjoy (-:

The Inner Singer Podcast

Episode 41 – Transcripts

How to Manage your Inner Game, your Performance

and your Vocal Technique Gracefully

Well, hey there, everybody. This is Mike Goodrich. Thanks so much for listening and tuning in to The Inner Singer Podcast, episode no. 14. It’s hard to believe 41 episodes here.

Thank you so much for being with me and for hanging in there with me and for all the nice comments and emails and reviews and ratings and everything. I really, really appreciate it. It’s a lot of fun doing these, so it’s really nice to know that somebody out there is actually listening which is cool. I love that! I think 68 countries and counting now.

So, to everybody all over the world, hello, and thank you so much. It’s really an amazing, amazing world we live in now with the technology and everything that’s going on.

And you know what else is—a nice segue here. This is not an intentional segue. It’s just kind of working out that way. With the technology and everything that’s going on, our ability to communicate, be in touch with each other all over the world, how the world is getting smaller, how the universe is getting smaller—our solar system is getting smaller with all the trips to Mars—all of that stuff going on is just so amazing.

But the other thing that to me is really amazing—and almost more amazing, and so timely and so important—is all of the inner work going on on the planet. For so long, the majority of our attention with the planet (and certainly mine, and I think science and a lot of things) has been out there—looking out in space, where does it go, how far it can go, then into the ocean, the molecular study, the nuclear study, how small can we get. I realized it was Steve Martin’s routine, Let’s Get Small. But anyway, I digress. That shows my age.

But anyway, it’s a constant looking out there, whether it’s looking up and out or looking down through a microscope and seemingly within or looking down to the sea. It’s always been kind of an out there thing which is great and necessary and fun.

But the thing that I’m really getting enthusiastic about on the planet now is how much inward people are going, how many people are really going inside, inward into that world, into exploring more of themselves, deep into themselves, into their conscious. With that, that’s really exciting.

And I’m seeing it everywhere. When I started this journey myself many, many years ago, it didn’t seem as—well, it certainly wasn’t as predominant. It certainly wasn’t as public. A lot of the things that I was studying and doing back years ago were probably considered pretty woo-hoo back there. It’s like, “Whoa!” with meditation and different things like that. But it’s so mainstream which is really, really cool.

As a matter of fact, it’s so mainstream that a fella that I follow online who I’ve learned a lot in terms of how to do videos and different things—I’m doing a lot of videos now that will be on the website. They may be on the website by the time you actually hear this. It will be a brand new website with lots of stuff and lots of contents and lots of videos. So I’m learning how to do all that, and able to turn out some really suprisingly amazing quality all by myself which is really fun. I don’t want to hire a bunch of tech people. I just want to do it myself. It’s more fun. I’m amazed!

But anyway, one of the fellows that I’m learning from just started a podcast on all of the things he does kind of inwardly. It has nothing to do with business. It has nothing to do with making money. It has nothing with any of that. It’s kind of his inner world and his inner life that he shares with everybody and how he’s been able to do the things on the outside so well by focusing so much on his inner life.

And another example, I re-took up tennis again and play with my little guy once in a while—he’s nine, he’s not very little anymore—and my wife. I like this online tennis guy. His name is Jeff. I can’t remember his last name. It’s hard to say. But I think I’m going to send the link to the people that are on my list because this was a really interesting thing. He sends out audios to his list. He sends out videos too, but he sends out audios on a regular basis.

He sent out this audio about Roger Federer and how Roger Federer just hired a new coach. But in his opinion, a new coach isn’t what he needs, and he goes into talking about—now, I don’t know that much about Robert Federer, but he apparently does. And he goes into how he thinks what he really needs is a mindset performance coach.

And of course, those have been around for a while. But it’s just been really exciting to see all these different areas—whether it’s sports or science or business—how people are really beginning to recognize the importance of the inner game, the inner work.

And of course, my influence years and years ago was The Inner Game of Tennis which was a terrific book, and many, many years later, would inspire this podcast and was an inspiration in terms of the direction that I’m going now.

But that’s just an aside. It’s very exciting that this podcast has received in so many countries, it’s very exciting that people are coming out and saying, “Hey, it’s not just ‘earn a living by the sweat of your brow’. It’s not just ‘work your tail off’. It’s not the old…”—what was it from the movie with Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen on Wallstreet? It’s not “lunch is for wimps.” Oh, no. Lunch is because you’re hungry and you’re taking care of yourself.

I had a colleague of mine one time that told me how many hours he was working. I said, “Man! Don’t you take a lunch?” He goes, “Nah! I figured out how much lunch was costing me one day, so I decided not to take it anymore.” It’s like, “Dude, really? Wow! How much is that going to cost you?”

Anyway, that’s not to say it in judgment because so many of us are taught, “You got to work hard, work hard, work hard. And then work harder.”

I just heard a quote actually today on a podcast. A fellow was reading a quote. He said he googled inspirational quotes and one was, “Work harder today than you did yesterday.” I thought that was so funny because he said, “How is that sustainable?” I mean, really, how are you going to sustain working harder today than you did yesterday, and tomorrow, harder than you did today, and so on and so on and so on. You compound that, and pretty soon, you’re going to be just not able to work any harder and the quality of life is going to be way, way down.

Anyway, I’m getting a little bit off the subject here of voice. But it really does apply to voice. As you know, I can—hey, come on! If you’ve been with me long enough, I can turn almost anything around so that it applies to voice. That is the magic of doing this podcast. I can make anything apply to voice.

And so it really does because it’s not about always working harder. It’s not about singing harder. It’s not always about taking more lessons. Sometimes, it’s a little bit more inner than that. Sometimes, it’s paying attention to what’s going on in the inside to let what’s on the outside unfold.

So, I guess that’s the preface of this podcast today. And what I want to talk about more today is a little bit of a follow-up of what I chatted about last week when I was talking about the singing trifecta.

And to remind you if you haven’t heard that episode, listen to it. I had a fellow email me and say, “Wow! This is the best podcast you’ve done so far” which is cool. I like that. That’s really nice. But what you want to do is maybe go back and listen to that one.

You don’t have to listen to it before you listen to this. Continue listening to this. But make sure you listen to that if you haven’t. I talk about the singing trifecta, which, in a nutshell, is these three components (the three are as follows):

The inner singer. We’ll refer to that as the inner game right now because the inner singer is the umbrella under which everything is. So, we’ll call it the inner game;

And then, you have the authentic performance, the ability to perform;

And then, we talked about vocal technique.

All three are really, really important.

But I wanted to clarify something last week because I’m not sure I went this far with it. It’s really important to know that if we have 100% of something, now we have these three different components. Well, if we have our 100% and each one of those are equal, we have 33.33% of technique, of performance, and of inner singer, which means that if we’re thinking about everything, we have a very divided attention.

So, if we’re thinking about our inner game, and we’re trying to think positively or whatever, and we’re also thinking about our performance and the character and who we’re singing these words to, and we’re thinking about the high note coming in a few bars, “I’ve got to narrow this vowel to be able to get it. And gosh it, I missed it the last time I sang this,” and we have all of that going, of course, our experience is going to be rather convoluted and not a lot of fun.

I’m wanting to give you an idea on how to begin to integrate these three. And the way we integrate these three is do it a lot, number one, but let’s just say we want to get something as close to automatic pilot as possible, so that our attention is not as divided.

When we’re beginning to juggle, it’s much easier to juggle two—that’s not really juggling, but you get used to it with two—before you add the third. So, if we can go on automatic pilot with something, then the other two are not as daunting.

So let’s just take, for example, we decide we’re going to sing a song that’s technically well within our range. So now, if we don’t have to worry about our voice or think from a technical standpoint, we can really start paying attention to the inner part of us, to the inner game, to what’s going on inside, to getting really, really present, to getting in the joy of these all—of all these, I guess, it would be, right?—to having fun, to getting our mind right.

We can also begin to pay attention to who we are having this conversation with because a song is a conversation. Maybe it appears to be a one-sided conversation, but it is a conversation. No matter what the lyric is, if it’s a lyric with some substance, then it’s a conversation.

And just like an actor, you had to come from somewhere into this particular moment in time when you are saying these words. And after you say these words, you have to be going somewhere. So, a song is a moment in time—the lyrics are a moment in time—that express what’s going on with you right now through the words of this song.

So, it has to be very personal. I’m giving just a brief, little thing in performance. It has to be very, very personal. You have to have a personalization, so you know who you’re saying these words too, and you have this conversation. You know what you want out of it. What’s the end that you’re looking for? Why are you saying these words? So that’s really important.

We begin to be able to give some attention to that if we are present, doing our inner work, and if our technique is in a place where we don’t really have to think about it to much during that particular song.

So now, we’re not really thinking about the technique in this song, and we start focusing on who we’re singing to. It give us a completely different experience. Now we can focus on and play with the performance aspect of this.

And by the way, I’ll give you a little hint. I think I said this in a previous podcast. But I always like to replace the word performance with experience because performance is so loaded. When I say, “You have to give a performance,” all kinds of things go through your mind. But when I say, “You’re going to have an experience singing this song,” not so much. It’s not so loaded. Not so many things will go through your mind.

So you’ve got the inner thing going, and you’ve got the technique on automatic pilot.

So a tremendous amount of that 100% that we have of our ability to focus can be given to the idea of this experience, this conversation. And that works no matter what you happen to be on automatic pilot with.

I work with some terrific actors. The actor is not the thing, right? So they go on automatic pilot on the acting, and they can give a little bit more focus to their technique, to their voice, to that particular note coming, to dialing in those vowels, to whatever is necessary to do that.

If somebody has a pretty good technique and they’re really a good performer, yet they lack confidence, and they don’t have their inner game down—their inner game is not supporting them—then they can go a little bit more on automatic pilot with the technique and the performance, and they can really focus then on being present in the joy, allowing things to flow, not judging, being mindful, watching, observing, and just being there and working on that aspect of it and giving a lot more attention to that.

So, those are some ideas on how we would balance all three of those. What we don’t want to do is get ourselves in a situation where, like I just said, we actually have to balance all three of those. We don’t want to be balancing all three at the same time. That sounds like work. It’s really difficult to be that divided, to be thinking about your voice in one note, in one measure, forgetting who you’re singing to in the next measure, and then feeling total lack of confidence and fear in the next measure, circling and trying to juggle that.

Here, I’ll date myself again. Back when I was a kid, there was the Ed Sullivan Show, right? I probably shouldn’t be saying that. But anyway, there was guy—and you’ve all seen these guys—they have a line of sticks with plates on top of them and they run back and forth, spinning the plates on top, just trying desperately to not let one fall.

So, we may have eight or ten plates spinning. They’re running and running. They see one about to fall. They run over and they spin it. They see another one about to fall. They run over and they spin it.

Imagine how exhausting that is. That’s how exhausting it is to try and juggle the whole idea of the inner game, the performance and the technique all at the same time. So don’t get into that.

Find you are the most comfortable with, the best at, and pick something that you can really, really—get one of those elements as close to automatic pilot as possible.

Now, you’re not going to be able to probably go automatic pilot on anything completely. Don’t worry about that. That’s not expected right now. But find something that at least your percentage division, rather than 33/33/33 can be maybe like 20/40/40 or something or even like 20—

Now, I have to do math. I had no idea there was going to be math in this podcast or I never would’ve brought this up. It can be like 20/30/50. I’m doing pretty well. That’s a hundred, right?

Okay, that’s it for my math. I’m not even going to talk about this anymore just in case I accidentally have to actually do more math. I think we have that pretty clear.

Now, the ultimate intention of all these is a little deeper than just being able to juggle these things. The ultimate intention of all these is to just be able to be so present with this that you’re just in a state of being—being the voice, being the song, being the experience—and we get to a point where we transcend all of these elements, the inner game, the performance, the technique.

There’s a level that’s below—or above, however you want to think about it—all of those where we are just being. People call it “the zone,” people call it “being in flow,” but it’s not thinking—not that there’s anything wrong with thinking, there’s nothing at all wrong with thinking. But we come to a point—sometimes not through a whole song, sometimes through a whole song, sometimes through a whole show.

But the intention of all these is not just to become good jugglers and being able to spin plates really well. The intention of all these is to get to a p where we transcend all three of those.

We actually transcend the singing trifecta into a place of just really being. And there, the experience is awesome.

And we’ve all experienced that in some way or another, in some form or another, in some activity or another, in some degree. To some degree, we all know, most likely, kind of what that’s like. I imagine that that’s, for most of us, what makes not experiencing that on a more regular basis so darn frustrating. Once you have a taste of that, it’s like, “Wow! That’s what everybody wants.”

It doesn’t happen all the time, but it can certainly happen. But we have to approach the same trifecta in a way that’s conducive to allowing us to transcend actually down underneath all of that into a stiller place where we just are the experience. If we are doing too much mental gymnastics, spinning plates, juggling, thinking about this, thinking about that, thinking about this, thinking about that, that very act of mental exertion is something that’s going to make it very challenging to drop into that flow. We’re thinking, and we’re doing, and we’re planning, and we’re worrying, and we’re doing all these things. We’re projecting instead of all just being.

None of that is being. “Oh, I’ve got a big high note coming up. Who was I thinking about? What was I supposed to be talking about? I can’t believe I forgot this. I knew this wasn’t going to work.” All of that stuff going on, if we’re in that, that’s not supportive and that’s not being.

Now, as we step back from that and allow some space and say, “Ooh, I see what’s going. I’m not mindful and aware that I’m doing that spin. I’m spinning plates here,” well, just the very essence of knowing and recognizing that, “Oh, I’m juggling. I’m juggilng all those three. I’m spinning plates,” just the awareness of that begins to drop us down underneath that tendency where we can begin to experience more of a flow even if the mind is chattering.

It doesn’t mean the mind has to stop. It doesn’t mean those thoughts have to stop. But they can be in the background, and we can still be really present.

So, it’s not like we try to get rid of them. We don’t make ourselves wrong for having them. But the intention is to drop down below them. And whether or not they go away, whether or not we’re not aware of them, or whether or not we’re aware of them in the background, who cares? At that point, they’re not running us. We are in flow. We are in the zone. We are present. And we’re having a wonderful experience.

So, I just looked down and I see we’re almost 23 minutes. This is longer than I planned on talking. I had something else to talk about, but we’ll turn that to another podcast.

Anyway, I hope you’re all doing great. Thank you so much for listening. Comments are always welcome. Emails are welcome. I’m thinking about possibly even getting one of those—there’s this really cool app you can get on your website (when I get the new website up) where people can leave phone messages. I’m thinking about doing that. Let me know if you think that would be a cool idea.

And onto the next episode. I’ll see you guys next week. Thanks again so much. And if you really value this, you like, if you want to head on over to iTunes and leave a review and a rating, that would be awesome. I greatly appreciate it.

I think probably as the outro to this podcast comes on, a recorded version of me, it’s probably going to ask you to do that again. But anyway, not to belabor the point.

So, I will see you next week. Bye bye.

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